We already had a QOTD for today, but the sight of this demo derby car got us thinking about what our preferred contender might be. Perhaps a Big Bird (72-76 T-Bird)? We’ll let you set us straight on the ideal demo derby car in the comments below, as many of you are undoubtedly more qualified to tell us. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this box Caprice, dubbed “Painkiller.”
…and how do we know it’s a Caprice? This is how; I had to reach above my head with the camera and take a shot of the interior. Otherwise, the car’s unrecognizable.
Actually, the outline of the “Chevrolet” badge is also discernible, though I didn’t notice that until I took the last picture here.
The painkiller stencils, though, are more clearly legible. That rear wheel looks like it’s been shoved a bit further forward than it was pre-derby. If this car is no longer drivable, I wonder what did it in. A broken U-joint, perhaps?
…or was it the engine and transmission being pushed back enough for the mounts to break? If they have been shoved back, and the rear axle shoved forward, something has to make room for all that crushing. What’s usually the first to go? Again, please fill us in!
Remarkably, the front bumper and the frame rails behind it haven’t been tweaked much at all. That’s completely opposite of what we see happened to the back of the car, but that seems to be the general deformation pattern for these cars. Are head-on hits verboten?
Side hits are apparently okay. This car has open gashes in the doors on both sides, but Chevy made a big deal about adding impact beams to the ’71 model and the deformation of the door skins confirms this car has them as well. And if that’s not enough protection, drilling holes in the doors, threading wires through them and tying them up around the pillar seems to be an effective measure against their opening, mid-battle. As this isn’t a hardtop, such efforts were also employed around the window frames.
The mud on this derby dueller looks fresh. It seems that someone has been cramming as much fun as they can during these last days of summer. For many of us at CC, the destruction of a car as old as this one is nothing to celebrate, but as it’s not an entirely rare model, it’s hard to get too upset about it all.
Related reading: A Night at the Fair